Partner Blog – Maternity Webinars with CM Talent
CM Talent was established in 2018 by Nishi Mehta to help employers attract, retain, and develop diverse and inclusive teams and nurture their wellbeing. They are one of the Schools Advisory Service partners who offer services aimed at removing barriers to professional success and strategically support the development of more women leaders and closing the gender pay gap. In this blog, Nishi discusses how, via SAS, she’s supported new parents and carers transition between their changing personal and professional lives.
From personal experience, Nishi knows what it is like to be unsupported by your workplace as a new parent. Her knowledge of this, particularly how to re-launch back to work after a career break, is her motivation for coaching parents and carers to develop their careers around family life and to re-discover their values and purpose.
Working with SAS, Nishi developed a series of maternity webinars, designed to provide support, advice, and guidance to parents/carers before, during, and after their family care leave. These webinars have been created to enable smooth transitions throughout their period of leave, bridging the often-conflicting demands of work and becoming a new parent whilst providing support to adjust to your new role as a parent (whether this is your first child, second or more).
Without guidance, this time can be difficult to navigate. Prior to the challenge of lockdown, Nishi frequently encountered unsupported parents and carers reporting feelings of loneliness, isolation, and fear, in conversations and on social media.
During lockdown, more than 50% of adults said that their mental health worsened. Parents, in particular, experienced a difficult time as they had to navigate new work demands on top of supporting children with home schooling without support for their health and wellbeing.
Research by the mental health charity MIND found that 1 in 3 adults didn’t access support during lockdown because they didn’t think they were entitled to it. This is something organisations can offer as a standard for their team, ensuring everyone feels supported when returning to work or office spaces, and was behind the implementation of the maternity webinars at SAS.
Nishi believes that guaranteeing a strategy and process to sustain mental health support in the long term should be a priority. Before the pandemic, people who already experienced mental illness reported a significant increase in the severity of their symptoms. As they struggle to cope, their work and home life also suffer as a result.
The impact of mental illness can’t be overlooked by organisations who want to offer the proper support for their staff. Providing support when staff need it most is a great starting point for recognising when your team need help. SAS’s Maternity Webinars give employees the opportunity to share their experiences and aspirations in an informal, safe, and confidential space online.
The maternity webinars have now supported numerous employees, including Lianna Williamson, who says:
“After receiving the introductory email, I downloaded the SAS app.
While exploring the app I found their live webinars, and the Maternity Monday webinar caught my attention. My maternity leave had just started and I wanted to learn more. CM Talent, who delivered the course, provided me with more information and I registered for the session.
They made us all feel relaxed from the first minute. They created a safe environment for us to share our parenting experiences and express any worries or concerns we had. CM talent provided valuable information about the return-to-work process, especially the importance of having a positive support network at home, and how helpful keep-in-touch days are.
These webinars are helpful and supportive to teachers on maternity leave, I would recommend them to anyone.“